Obama's View of Clarence Thomas

Obama at Saddleback Forum
Obama at Saddleback Forum

I posted about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whom I greatly respect, as a prelude to commenting on Barack Obama’s response to Rick Warren at the Saddleback Forum. When asked which current Supreme Court justice he would not have nominated, Obama immediately, without hesitation, chose Thomas. He claimed it was because Thomas was not really prepared for the job, as well as his basic disagreements with his judicial philosophy.

As others have noted, for Obama to use lack of experience as a basis for his answer is rather ironic. Clarence Thomas first worked as a lawyer for the Attorney General of Missouri, then with the Monsanto Company. He spent most of the 1980s in the Reagan administration as director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. He had a well- developed judicial philosophy grounded in original intent of the Constitution.

Obama, by way of contrast, served in the Illinois State Senate starting in 1996, lost a bid to be a congressman in 2000, then finally was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. Almost upon taking office in 2005, he began running for president. As has been noted by others, the number of working days he has spent in the Senate is less than 200. His background is not nearly as accomplished at Thomas’s, yet he aspires to the highest office in the land.

Let’s be serious about his real reasons for opposing Thomas: as a justice, Thomas has ruled consistently with his philosophy of original intent. This disallows judicial activism, which is the primary avenue by which Obama and fellow liberals change the country. This is how abortion became legal, and Obama wants to protect the “right” to abortion. His devotion to abortion rights is so pronounced that, while a state senator, he even voted against a bill that would have allowed medical treatment to babies born alive during an abortion procedure. I encourage you to follow this story; it has only begun to resonate and should become more of an issue as the campaign unfolds.